A journey I don’t recommend Dealing with the big “C”

Ross Thompson M

y worst journey, ever, started over a year ago in our family doctor’s office.

She said, “Your PSA is quite high. I

am referring you to a Urologist” HMMM! Next: “You have a nodule. That’s a game-changer. Let’s get you an ap- pointment with an oncologist and schedule a biopsy”. GASP! WHAT?? I am a guy who has kept fit, active and healthy. The worst thing that ever happened to me was three stitches in my head after I stood up under my truck mirror! Oh, and a few skin le- sions removed, as a precaution. Then, on to two oncologists, both with their respective specialties, God bless ‘em. Oncologists oversee the care of people undergoing radiation treat- ment, aided and abetted by therapists, nurses, medical physicists, social work- ers, dietitians and communication clerks. After my biopsy he gave us the news. “You have tested positive for prostate cancer”, the first doctor said! Then came a sob from my wife,

which I will never forget. “AND, there is a lesion on the public bone, which is serious. If it is cancerous, you are look- ing at five years!”


GULP!! At this point, my worry about pos- side

effects from the various

treatments – fatigue, skin reactions, swelling, diarrhea, fertility issues and hair-loss paled compared to the latest possible prognosis! That was last January. Then there

were four months of a fairly standard protocol, including 30 days of pills, injections every three months to keep the prostate at bay, full body scans and, unfortunately, worry on my part. Lynne on the other hand was steadfast. “It’s going to be OK”, was her mantra. Easy for others to say. One day before leaving for a family cruise, we passed another milestone on a visit to the oncologist. “Oh, by the way, the lesion on your pubis is an anomaly. It’s not cancer- ous.” Lynne let out a whoop that I am

sure was heard all the way down Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg, let alone through the entire waiting room! The good doctor then told us about the next procedure, which entailed im- planting three spicules of gold in the prostate as markers to focus radiation and minimize side effects. “Will he be worth more now?” Lynne asked. Excuse me??

Many good things have arisen from this experience, first and foremost, is

Ross Thompson (4th from left) and the 2018 MS Bike Tour team.

appreciation for family and friends, our health, and not the least, our health care system! The medical staff, all the way through, has been excep- tional – professional, sensitive and car- ing. When Lynne and I volunteer at State Parks in Minnesota and North Dakota, we avoid discussion about politics, but we sure trump-et (sorry) our health care. My wife tried to distract me with conversation during our 28 daily drives, five days per week, to the Pros- tate Centre and with word puzzles in the waiting area. She even had others waiting for their turn to try the puz- zles!

Every patient is different, and in my

case, all side effects have been moder- ate to minimal, due to fitness and a positive attitude, I am told. Additionally, I have developed a following of gents who are going through the same process as I, some of whom I haven’t been in touch with for many years. Others, I hope I am able to comfort and uplift, with my usual positive and humorous attitude. One of my friends terms me his pilot fish since I am a month ahead of him, so maybe I show him and others the way? It is also mutual comfort to ex- change ideas, feelings and outlooks. It is surprising how many friends and ac- quaintances are on or associated with the prostate journey, and likely more, who simply don’t know they have it. Believe me, although, initially, it is a shock to hear the “C” word, life can go on. Just two months after finishing my round of radiation, I was able in late August to complete my 16th MS Bike Tour. Immediately afterwards, I headed to Itasca State Park, MN for a month of volunteer campground host- ing! Very active!

The next stage for me will be what is termed “active surveillance”. Blood samples will be regularly monitored for hopefully continuing low PSA lev- els. In just over a year, I fully expect to be off the pills and back to normal, or at worst, a new normal!

a constantly stuffy nose). His issues were not only keeping him up at night, but his disrupted breath- ing made it difficult for his wife to sleep as well. The technical name for


condition is rhinosinus- itis, and the symptoms in- clude sinus headache, sore throat, stuffy nose, fever, and – if there’s a bacterial infection present – a pus- like

nasal discharge and

facial pain. He had tried everything his doctor recommended, none of which led to any improvement. He tried using a neti pot with a saltwater solution, and while the saline did clean and dry out his nasal passages, he found the stuffy nose and other symptoms returned. I’ve found great success in

treating tough cases

with a three-step approach. Step 1 - Xylitol

Xylitol, a natural sugar found in many

fruits and vegetables, can be very effec- tive for treating chronic rhinosinusitis when combined with a saline solution. A double-blind placebo-controlled study at Stanford found that treatment with xylitol resulted in a “greater improve- ment of symptoms of chronic rhinosi- nusitis as compared to saline irrigation.” Xylitol soothes mucous membranes

by drawing moisture to the skin’s sur- face. As xylitol is non-fermentable, bac-

Nathan Zassman Natural Health

Fix your sinus problems in 3 easy steps A

client visited me a few months ago complaining of persistent sinus problems (headaches and

teria can’t use it to grow and produce harmful acids. This prevents bacteria from proliferating in the nasal passages and

the mucous mem-

branes lining the inside of the mouth. The result is a dramatic reduction of si- nus problems without the side effects of drugs. Stud- ies have also found that xy- litol (as in mints or gum) results in a lower incidence of ear infections. Xylitol tastes sweet and

has been used as a sugar substitute for diabetics. It doesn’t affect blood glu- cose or insulin levels, and has 40% fewer calories than

sugar. Discovered around 1890 by European

researchers, it was used during World War II during a sugar shortage in Scan- dinavian countries. After the war, dental professionals noticed that patients who had been using xylitol instead of sugar had fewer cavities and better oral health. Since then there have been thousands

of studies proving the many benefits of xylitol, not just for sinus problems, but also for preventing tooth decay. Xylitol decreases the oral bacteria that causes dental plaque, and reduces the incidence of dental cavities.

Step 2 - BLIS K12 Developed by John Tagg, Ph.D., a

professor who has dedicated his life’s work to microbiology research, BLIS K12 is a probiotic designed to be taken as a lozenge or chewing gum. Regular use of BLIS K12 colonizes the oral cav-

ity with friendly bacteria (Streptococcus salivarius), and crowds out pathogenic bacteria that can lead to tonsillitis, ear, nasal, and throat infections (including strep). Safe for infants and adults, BLIS K12 is the perfect complement to xyli- tol.

Step 3 - Control Your Environment Humidity. Heating our homes makes the dry, seasonal air even worse for our eyes, nose, and mucous membranes, in- creasing our susceptibility to airborne pathogens. During the winter months, I recommend regular use of a portable steam or ultrasonic humidifier. Proper humidification can help boost immuni- ty and speed up recovery from colds and flu. In addition, our windpipe’s natural cleansing function is affected by dry air, potentially contributing to infection and respiratory tract complaints. Man- aging humidity levels helps to alleviate dry air passages and nasal membranes, allowing for better rest, which aids in recovery.

Air Quality. Exposure to airborne pathogens like viruses and bacteria in- crease the risk of infection, but dust mites, pollen, and mold spores can all be hazardous to our health. HEPA air purifiers have traditionally been the most popular solution, as HEPA filters effectively trap many common allergy triggers.

Disinfection. HEPA filters help to

remove airborne particles, but they can’t kill all the bacteria present in our living environment. New technologies that produce OH radicals can kill up to 10 times more pathogens than pho- tocatalytic oxidation, the conventional

method of generating OH radicals in air purifiers. Especially effective for rhi- nitis and respiratory infections, the Air Vaccine 015+ is suitable for spaces up to 1300 square feet. Air Vaccine 015+, an exciting product developed in Korea, helps to remove 98% or more of dan- gerous contaminants like E. coli, small- pox virus, Influenza type A (H1N1), and many other volatile organic com- pounds in just a few hours. For the man with chronic sinus issues,

we reduced his exposure to pathogens with a suitable air purifier and humidi- fier. I recommended a pair of prod- ucts from Xlear and suggested he take a BLIS K12 lozenge three times a day. Xlear Sinus Care nasal spray combines xylitol, salt, and grapefruit seed extract. Sinus Care Solution is a combined salt and xylitol formula in individual packets for use with a nasal irrigator or neti pot. About a week later he called and said

that his sinus symptoms had vanished in a few days and that he couldn’t be- lieve the difference. He’s sleeping much better, and so is his wife. If the symp- toms return, he uses the nasal spray for fast relief. He continues to use the Sinus Care Solution each morning and evening as part of his daily routine, and maintains good oral health by having an OralBiotic lozenge twice a day. I’ve

found that combining xylitol

treatments with BLIS K-12 and man- aging your indoor environment during the winter provides effective, long-last- ing relief from bacterial infections and helps to ease sinus problems. Nathan Zassman is the owner and presi- dent of Aviva Natural Health Solutions.

November 2018 11

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